Egypt: 55 policemen killed in gunbattle with militants

14 policemen killed in clashes in Egypt

16 Egyptian police officers killed in shootout in Giza

At least 54 Egyptian police officers were killed in an ambush by militants near the Bahariya oasis in the country's Western Desert, security and medical sources said Saturday, in a rare flare-up outside the Sinai Peninsula.

Fifteen "terrorists" were killed or injured in the attack, state-run media outlet Ahram Online reported Saturday, citing the Interior Ministry.

Hasm claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement that it killed at least 28 members of the security forces and wounded 32 others.

The police forces received information about a number of terrorists hiding in the desert area.

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Cairo claims that Hasm is the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most popular political party in Egypt and the oldest in the Arab world.

The fighters also used explosive devices in the attack, the sources said, adding that 16 officers died in the shoot-out and the number was expected to rise.

According to reports, the security personnel mounted the counter-terror operation against a suspected militant hideout on Friday, 20 October.

The policemen were killed in the exchange of fire with terrorists late yesterday in el-Wahat desert in Giza governorate, about 135 kilometres from the capital. The Muslim Brotherhood has denied any involvement in violent attacks against security forces.

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Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April when a twin church attack killed scores.

Egypt has been battling an insurgency since 2013 when the military deposed Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, in a coup.

It is blamed for the killing of hundreds of soldiers and policemen and has started to target other areas, including Egypt's Christian Copts.

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